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Zim draw Bafana Bafana, Morocco and Liberia in 2023 AFCON qualifiers

Zimbabwe has been drawn alongside South Africa, Morocco and Liberia in the 2023 African Cup of Nations (Afcon) qualifiers for the tournament taking place in the Ivory Coast in May and June next year.

The Warriors were drawn in Group K alongside their old foes Bafana Bafana in a draw conducted on Tuesday in Johannesburg, South Africa.

But despite the draw, for Zimbabwe to participate in these qualifiers they still have to work on getting their FIFA ban lifted two weeks before the games begin.

“Reference to the suspension of Kenya and Zimbabwe by FIFA from all football activities, in case the suspension is not lifted two (2) weeks before their first matchday of the qualifiers; both associations will be considered as losers and eliminated from the competition,” CAF said in a statement.

Commenting on the draw, Bafana Bafana legend Lucas Radebe believes Morocco are the most difficult opponents for his side as compared to their fierce rivals Zimbabwe.

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“I think Morocco is the team to beat. As for our neighbours (Zimbabwe), we can deal with them. We have most of them (players) who play here.

“It’s going to be exciting because they (Zimbabwe) will be looking forward (to winning the games). But I also think they will go for us and then Morocco,” the ex-Leeds United defender outlined.

This is the second consecutive time Zimbabwe and South Africa are tussling in a quest to qualify for a major tournament.

Both nations were also drawn together in the same group for the World Cup qualifiers last year.

The two legged fixture ended in a goalless draw in the first leg played at the National Sports Stadium in September.

This was before Bafana Bafana won 1-0 in the reverse fixture that was played at the FNB Stadium in South Africa in November.

Meanwhile, the top two finishers in each group qualify for the 24 team continental tournament slated for June next year in Ivory Coast.

Group A: São Tomé and Príncipe/Mauritius, Guinea-Bissau, Sierra Leone, Nigeria.

Group B: Eswatini, Togo, Cape Verde, Burkina Faso.

Group C: Burundi, Namibia, Kenya, Cameroon.

Group D: Ethiopia, Malawi, Guinea, Egypt.

Group E: Central African Republic, Angola, Madagascar, Ghana.

Group F: Tanzania, Niger, Uganda, Algeria.

Group G: South Sudan, Gambia, Congo, Mali.

Group H: Lesotho, Comoros, Zambia, Ivory Coast.

Group I: Sudan, Mauritania, Gabon, DR Congo.

Group J: Botswana, Libya, Equatorial Guinea, Tunisia.

Group K: Liberia, Zimbabwe, South Africa, Morocco.

Group L: Rwanda, Mozambique, Benin, Senegal.